Abhishek Banerjee has been in the business long enough to understand the grammar of it. Recently seen in Anushka Sharma produced Paatal Lok that released on Amazon Prime, the actor garnered rave reviews for his character Hatoda Tyagi. The actor joined Koimoi for an exclusive chat as he has been nominated at the Critics Choice Award in the Best Supporting Actor category. He spoke about the nominations, his journey and also the backlash Paatal Lok received.
For the unversed, Paatal Lok tapped some sensitive subjects in the politics of the country and was hailed for that. But there was also a section that labelled the show Hinduphobic and regressive. Abhishek Banerjee played Hatoda Tyagi, a monster created by his situation and he aced the character. The actor feels it is important to question the pre convinced beliefs that have been in the minds for ages.
While talking about it exclusively, Abhishek Banerjee revealed how he once left a news debate midway when it started to become ugly. He said, “Surprisingly not much hate reached me. A very little of it made its way to my kitty. Maybe a few wrote some mean things in my comment section Hinduphobic was one of the most prominent ones. But apart from that people have not really shared anything bad or anything. They called me for a debate on a news channel, and when I realised this is going to be an ugly debate, I just left the zoom meeting. Because it is as easy to do that, you know.”
Abhishek Banerjee added, “Backlash, what I realise is that every time you make a story which deals with the politics of our country, and politics not in terms of party politics, I am talking about the class divide and things. Also, no one can say the class divide doesn’t exist here. Everybody knows it, that it is practised in rural areas, our grandparents have told us about it, we have evolved. But there are still people who haven’t evolved, they still believe in these things. So when their belief system is questioned, to they will panic. And this is important. If as an artist, we are creating something, we should create it to challenge those questions. Society will only evolve with questions and answers to them. If they are showing you just what you want to, the songs, the shows constantly, we as a society will stop thinking.”
While on that Abhishek Banerjee also opened up if the politically charged environment pulls him back from signing projects that talk about it. He said, “That’s the thing, you start doubting. Is there even a point? Because this battle is not recent, it has been on for ages. Whenever an issue from the country is raised in films, the eyebrows have been raised. It happened with Black Friday too. With films what happened is a limited number of people were watching it. In OTT, everyone is consuming content as it releases. Now many are watching it, so many are having problems. But it is the same problem that they have with books, plays, and it is not new. It is due to the social media evolution that we can see it clearly.”
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